Eva Restaurant: The New Kid on the Block

— by Caroline on Crack

Lamb Shank, Photo by Bourbon & Bleu

By Bourbon & Bleu

When Hatfield’s announced that it was moving out of its cozy Beverly Boulevard spot, we thought that a once loved dining destination would be cast by the wayside. Enter Mark Gold. Boasting a resume including Patina Group and Water Grill, Gold took over the Hatfield’s post and opened his first restaurant: Eva Restaurant. Gold loves to please his customers, and with his “no limits” style of customer service, Eva is sure to become a local favorite.

We’ve dined at Eva’s Sunday Dinner Party twice now (here’s the rundown) and thought it was about time to give the restaurant’s seasonal menu a go. The month-by-month menu is shortRavioli, Photo by Bourbon & Bleu and sweet, with less than 20 items on the whole thing. The prices are also affordable: appetizers are in the $9-$15 range, sides and desserts are $7, and entrees fall around $16-$24. The wine menu is well-rounded and offers a full page of glass selections with prices from $8 to upward of $30. Bleu was pointed in the right direction towards a Ladera Cab from Napa Valley. Bourbon opted out for a cocktail and was thrilled with his r1 Manhattan (stirred, thank goodness!).

We started off with the burrata ravioli appetizer — Eva’s most ordered dish. Burrata cheese in homemade pasta finds a nice compliment in the earthy winter truffle shavings and sweet corn foam. But when it comes to anything involving the gooey goodness of burrata, where can you really go wrong? We overheard the server telling the table next to us that you can even order an entree-size portion of this dish. Great option for a vegetarian or anyone, really.

Gold seems to be a fan of the deconstructed style of food; all the entrees came on oversized plates with scattered piles of goodies that were a feast for the eyes. He also focuses on bringing out the quality of what he’s cooking with — no overpowering sauces or unnecessary flavors. It’s good, simple food that anyone can appreciate.

Halibut, Photo by Bourbon & Bleu For the main event, Bourbon chose the braised lamb shank — special of the day — and Bleu went for the halibut. Bourbon’s lamb shank had an amazing flavor thanks to the slow cooking process that allowed the fat to melt into the meat. The buttery richness of the lamb was paired with a side of hearty quinoa and mint, wilted kale, potatoes, and carrots. The perfect cooking technique was further exemplified by how the meat fell off the bone. Bourbon’s only qualm with this dish was that it was served warm, but definitely not as hot as he would have liked.

Bleu’s halibut was gently crisped on top and served over a delicate mustard sauce with potatoes, artichokes, and wild mushrooms. The fish was tender and flaked away easily with a fork, evidence of Gold’s tenure at Water Grill.

To accompany our entrees, we ordered the butter-glazed mushrooms as a side despite Bourbon’s uneasiness (he’s never been a big fan of them). Much to his surprise, and Bleu’s delight, the wild assorted mushrooms were meaty and flavorful. Bourbon swears they reminded him of fried chicken. Success!

Lemon Pudding Cake, Photo by Bourbon & Bleu We rounded out the meal with the lemon pudding cake. The citrus cake was accompanied by sweet meringue and thyme. The dessert reminded us of a super moist lemon bar in cake form.

The service was spot-on throughout the evening. Gold dropped by to check on our meal and when we raved about the ravioli he brought over samples of the new winter ravioli recipe he’s testing — pumpkin brown butter (on the menu as of November 7). Our server was also a gem, playing hostess, waitress, and bartender all without missing a beat.

Gold jokes that he would drive elsewhere if the customer asks for something he doesn’t offer. But with the quality we have seen from Eva so far, we aren’t worried about anyone taking him up on that any time soon.

Eva Restaurant
7458 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90036 (map)
(323) 634-0700